T-shirts are great for so many reasons – they are comfy, casual, easy to wear and easy to transform. This post doesn’t cover a dramatic transformation, but I have recently been asked to alter a basic tee neckline to a V-neck and thought I’d give you a step-by-step tutorial for this popular and simple alteration.
Here is the Tee in question:
Basic crew neck, with ribbing. Basic, but not very feminine or attractive. So the first step is to get rid of this ribbing. I do this by snipping into the center back just below the stitching on the neckline. Then follow the stitching line around to just past the shoulder seams.
Then, lining up the shoulder seams, I fold the shirt front in half. You won’t get the shirt completely flat, but just make sure the neckline ribbing matches and the fabric below it for a few inches is smooth. Since the t-shirt I’m using has a front logo, I am using this as the point at which the V will stop. (If your shirt is plain, try it on first and mark with a pin or marker the point at which you want your V to stop.) Draw up from that marking to join the shoulder where you stopped cutting.
Cut through both layers down to the V.
Your original ribbed neckline is now removed and you are ready to re-finish your new V neckline.
There are a few choices for finishing your new neckline. If you are lucky enough to find matching new ribbing, you can use that to obtain an authentic finish. I have found that bias tape is a stable and acceptable alternative. Opening one side of the bias tape flat, I start pinning it to the outside, center back of the t-shirt.
Pin all the way around and when you get back to the center back, cut the bias tape about 1″-1 1/2″ longer than necessary to meet the beginning of the tape’s raw edge. Fold the end over itself about 1/2 an inch, lift the beginning of the tape and place the folded end underneath.
Pin through all layers.
Sew all the way around, starting at center back, back stitching at start & finish. Remove Pins.
Fold the bias tape to the inside of the shirt, bringing about 1/8″ of the shirt fabric with it, just to be safe. Pin all the way around, snipping the V to the first line of stitching before pinning & sewing.
Press neckline & there it is – you have a much better, less choking, V-neck tee!
What do you think? Is this something you’ve done or think you might try now that you’ve seen how easy it is? The same thing can be done to sleeves – cut off and finished to be a tank top. The possibilities are endless with altering t-shirts so I hope this gets you started!